Costa Rica 2020, Day 10

Thursday, February 27

After spending five nights at Jaguar’s Jungle it was time to head to our next destination – Pacheco Cabins in Drake Bay. Drake Bay is a small seaside village that is located at the northern point of the Osa peninsula. It is home to some budget and mid-range hotels as well as some more luxurious and expensive ecolodges. It is a great place to see a large number of birds as well as a variety of species.

It was about a 30 minute boat ride to Drake Bay from Jaguar’s Jungle. It was a bit stressful because our boat was late. We had arranged with Erik Pacheco to store our luggage so we could head out on one of his morning tours. Fortunately it didn’t turn into a problem. When we arrived I called him and he drove down the hill to the beach to meet us. His cabins were at the top of the hill, so it would have been a bit of a challenge walking up with all of our bags.

Mike at the entrance to Pacheco Cabins

We spent two nights at Pacheco Cabins. (Pachecotours.com). There are three cabins here. We were excited to have air-conditioning after five nights without it. Cabin 3 was very nice and had a queen bed and bunk beds. We had a lovely balcony with some chairs and a hammock. Mike made use of the balcony each morning because he gets up earlier than I do. It was a perfect spot for him to sit and read as the sun came up. He enjoyed the view as well as watching all the birds passing by, including a large number of pelicans.

We dropped our bags off in Erik’s office and joined the others that were waiting to go on the Floating Tour. Our transportation to the drop off spot was a bit unusual for us: we ended up sitting in the back of a pick-up truck, something I had never done before and believe is illegal in Canada. It was actually fun and added to the Costa Rican experience. The mud roads were pretty bumpy!

We had to drive fairly far. We needed to start at the far end of the river because we would be floating back down to the ocean. Once we arrived we still needed to do a decent hike to get to the river. The trail was a bit technical but not too difficult. We did however, have one woman in our group that didn’t really have appropriate hiking footwear and seemed rather out of shape. We had to keep stopping to wait for her. I later found out that she didn’t know that there would be hiking involved. I really enjoyed the hike because it wasn’t a well maintained trail so it was much more natural and secluded.

When we reached the waterfall it was time to prepare for the float. We were given life jackets and shown how to put them on like diapers so we could sit in them and float down the river feet first.

We were here in the dry season so the floating tour was more of a float and scrabble tour. Every so often we would have to climb over rocks where the water wasn’t deep enough and then get back in the water. This was our only day without full sun. We had a bit of misty rain during this part of the tour. It was very warm and humid and we were already wet so it didn’t really matter.

When we got closer to the ocean the water became deeper and the skies cleared. As I floated I enjoyed talking with the slow woman. Mike got into a conversation with her male friend and they were the last to exit the river.

Now we had to boot it back to the truck. We were running late for lunch so the guides set a very fast pace. They were walking so fast I couldn’t really stop to take any pictures. Fortunately we would be hiking up this beach the next day. In their hurry the guides failed to check on everyone and the slow woman actually got lost. We waited for her for quite a while and then a guide went back to find her.

We enjoyed our lunch at Choza Bar. When we were finished we walked back to our cabin.

There were only two roads in the tourist area and it took about 15 minutes to walk the entire length. We stopped in a couple of shops. It was very interesting to see how different it was from back home. One store was packed floor to ceiling with merchandise with odd things grouped together like gas and pool toys. I wanted to pick up some hair conditioner but the containers were all in Spanish. The people working there didn’t speak English well so it took a bit of time to figure out what to buy.

We saw some interesting things on our walk. There was a guy riding a motor bike while holding a full sized cake in one hand. We also saw multiple people sharing a motorbike including small children without helmets. I wanted to take pictures but thought it would be rude.

When we arrived back at the cabin, Balloo, the owners dog, was hanging around our door. We put our plastic coke bottles out for recycling and he grabbed one and started playing. We let him come in our room and had fun watching him. We later found out that he prefers these over dog toys. We got our things ready for the next days hike and then relaxed on the balcony.

After that we headed back down the street to find somewhere to have dinner. Even though Drake Bay is very small, there are several places to eat. We chose a restaurant near the end of the road that looked a bit fancier than the rest. All of the restaurants are open air. We found it quite hot while we were eating and were jealous of the staff at the bar with their fan. This was the first time our bill wouldn’t be added to our room bill and we remembered to ask for it when we were ready. It is considered rude for the waiter to bring the bill before you ask for it.

Mike ordered ribs and I had steak- both of our meals were excellent. After dinner we wandered back to our room and relaxed with a book. I brought a couple of books down with me that talked about the history and wildlife of Costa Rica. It was fun to read them while here. While here, I heard about a book by Roman Dial that tells the story of him and his family. His son came alone to hike in Corcovado and became lost. Although a sad story, I enjoyed reading it when I got home.

Fun Fact: Costa Rica has two health care systems. One is public and even tourists can use it for emergencies. The other is private but apparently quite affordable.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 9

Wednesday, February 26

Today would be our second visit to Corcovado Park. This time we were headed to the Padrillo Ranger Station. My original plan was to visit the Padrillo area and to do the Llorona waterfall tour. Unfortunately the latter was the location of some illegal activity, so we were not permitted to visit there. We also had a bit of trouble finding a guide. No one is allowed into Corcovado without one. I told Brian, the hotel manager, that I really wanted to visit Padrillo. On our last day he arranged for a group of us to go with one of his staff members, who wasn’t really a certified guide. She was very knowledgeable about the area though and proved to be a great guide.

First we followed a small river to a couple of small waterfalls.The trails on this tour were much more fun than the last tour. They were a bit rougher and more interesting. We enjoyed picking our way across the river while trying not to slip in!

Our guide stopped a few times to show us different types of plant life and trees.

Our next stop was at the waterfall for a refreshing dip. The water was quite cold so we didn’t stay in for very long.

After our dip we backtracked a bit and then took a different trail back towards the Padrillo Ranger Station. These trails were a bit quieter than in the Sirena location. The small river running along side the path was very pretty.

There are 69 types of lizards and 137 different kinds of snakes found in Costa Rica. Twenty are considered “dangerously venomous”. Our guide spotted this non-venomous Tiger Rat snake….it has a very long, skinny tail and can be found on the ground or in trees.

We also saw this Anole and some more Capuchin Monkeys.

We stopped at the Ranger Station to use the facilities and have another short break. They had a display of skulls from many of the animals found in the park.

On our way back towards the beach we saw a large group of Coatis. They didn’t seem to mind us walking along beside them. We enjoyed watching one of them attempt to break open a coconut.

After about four hours in the park and 10 kilometers of walking we were ready to head back to the hotel. We just had a little more time to explore the beach and watch some parrots in a nearby tree.

In the afternoon we covered another 6 kilometers on the trails near our hotel.

Our last sunset at Jaguar’s Jungle.

Fun Fact: Costa Rica does not have names for their streets but has numbers for the highways. There are no addresses.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 8

Tuesday, February 25

For Mike and I a free day rarely means a lazy day. This was our opportunity to do some exploring on our own.

After breakfast we loaded up our packs with water and snacks and set off to explore the trails that lead towards Corcovado park.

Being long distance runners, we have a lot of gear for carrying water and clothing to help deal with heat and humidity. We also brought bug spray but discovered we didn’t need it. Even in the forest flying insects didn’t seem to be an issue. I had been worried about mosquitos, particularly when I noticed many of the screens in our cabin had holes in them. We didn’t see any mosquitos during this vacation. Perhaps they are more of an issue during the rainy season.

We started our hike on the path behind our hotel and started heading uphill. I found the plant life similar to what we saw in Hawaii. Everything seems very large and lush, almost larger than life.

We walked along the ridge trail keeping an eye out for spots where we could get down to the water. We found a couple of spots that were fun to explore – small secluded beaches with not another soul in sight.

There was one trail that we tried but when we got close to the beach there was quite a drop off. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to climb back up so we backtracked to the ridge trail.

I love exploring these secluded beaches where the only footprints in the sand are our own.

One area we climbed down to was quite large and had a lot of lava rocks as well as a couple of caves.

It was a bit tricky getting into one of them. When the waves came in they covered some of the rocks so knowing where to step was a bit tricky. It was a good test for our balance.

We had to keep an eye on the tide as it was coming in. Some of the waves were quite large. It was fun to watch them breaking on the large rocks, but we didn’t want to get knocked over trying to leave the cave.

We continued on the trail until we came across another hotel: Casa Corcovado. They had many nice cabins deep in the forest. We enjoyed visiting their gardens and then headed back to the trail. We saw lots of interesting trees and plants like the twirly one below. We did not see any people!

We saw lots of interesting trees and plants like the twirly one below. We did not see any people!

We saw a ton of leaf cutter ants and found this giant pile of sand some ants had left behind.

While we were hiking we could hear various bird songs as well as the very loud howler monkeys. I reminded Mike not to put his hand on a branch or tree without looking at it first. He had already tried to grabbed a tree for balance and discovered a vine with many thorns wrapped around it.

You also have to be on the lookout for poisonous frogs, spiders and snakes. I kept my eyes peeled for sloths but didn’t see any. It is best to have a guide when you are on the hunt for wildlife. They are much better at knowing where to look and at spotting them. Neither of us spotted a sloth on our own until the day we were heading home.

These large black things were a common sight and we were told different stories about their origin. They were either caused by termites or a reaction by the tree to the salt from the ocean.

We hiked at least part of all of these different trails.

We arrived back before dinner and I enjoyed a yummy Pina Colada in my favourite spot – with my feet dangling from the bench while gazing out at the ocean.

Fun Fact: Costa Rica is only 10 degrees above the equator so the temperature doesn’t change much between the seasons.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 7

Monday, February 24

Today we went on a snorkeling tour to Cano Island (pronounced Can-yo). It’s a small, uninhabited island that is very popular for snorkeling and scuba diving. It’s about 16 km from the shore and it took about 45 minutes to get there. We were very lucky to have the same tour guide we had for our tour of Corcovado park.

From our beach you can see Cano island in the distance….

We had two snorkeling stops. It wasn’t amazing but I did see a sea snake, a stingray, a turtle and lots of small fish. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in the South Pacific and did a lot of snorkeling there (which was absolutely amazing), so it’s pretty hard to impress us now.

After our first snorkel stop we spent some time on the island. Our guide told us about Cano Island’s history and showed us some relics from the island, some of which she had discovered herself.

We had some free time so Mike decided we should take the path up the small mountain. We weren’t really wearing the right kind of footwear, but Mike insisted on dragging me up to the top.

The view made the hike worthwhile!

We had a bit of time left to walk down the beach and admire all the rock formations. Much of the rock we saw here and on the mainland was volcanic in nature.

The day we visited there were two big ships anchored offshore. We were told they were both owned by some rich guy. The white boat was his private yacht that he lived on and the black ship contained all his toys- smaller boats, his helicopter etc.

We made one more stop for snorkeling. At this spot we had a close encounter with a turtle. You are supposed to give turtles some distance. When I lifted my head out of the water there was a turtle right beside me. I tried to warn Mike but he was swimming towards me and came up under the turtles fin. The turtle didn’t seem to care…

Back at our hotel we saw these Scarlet Macaws. In Costa Rica they are mostly found here on the Osa Peninsula. They can live over 60 years in the wild. Their numbers in the wild have been hurt by the illegal pet trade but with some breeding programs their numbers may improve.

In the evening we went out for a night tour. Our two guides pointed out different types of bugs and frogs along the trail. The plan was to arrive at dusk at a cave said to hold thousands of bats. As dusk settled in we saw them start to come out in search of their evening meal. At times we felt like we should duck because we could feel the breeze when they flew by us.

Part of the hike was a bit dramatic as one of the guides took a step backwards and started to slide down a cliff. Fortunately she was able to grab a hold of a tree root and then Mike and the other guide hauled her back up.

Bat cave, Stick bug, Green Tree Frog, Wandering Gecko

We learned something that I would have preferred not to know – if you shine a flashlight at a spider it’s eyes will glow. We had to cross some grass and I shone my flashlight over the area and saw hundreds of tiny lights. I assumed it was from dew on the grass but as I took a closer look they were indeed spiders eyes. It was a bit unnerving! We finished the evening with a late dinner and then made our way back to our cabin. We kept the flashlight trained in front of us so we could pretend there weren’t any spiders near us.

Fun Fact: Costa Rica is very environmentally conscious. Over 25% of the country is reserved for national parks or preserves.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 6

Sunday, February 23

I was really excited to finally be going to Corcovado National Park! I had read about all the different types of animals and birds we might see there. The variety of species here is very diverse. It is a pathway between North and South America so there are many animals from both regions. I was most interested in the animals we don’t have in Canada. Top of my list were Sloths, followed by Tapirs, Coatis and Monkeys. It would have been great to see some of the big cats, but I knew that was unlikely as they are shy and often hunt at night.

There are no roads, so the only way to get there is either by a day long hike or by boat. This trip we decided on the boat. Jaguar’s Jungle is very close to the border of the park and that is why we chose to stay there.

Our guide picked us up at our beach. After a short ride, we landed at a rocky beach. The drivers of the boats are very skilled at backing in as they have to do so many wet landings. There are no docks. There were many boats here delivering people to the park.

This area of the park is very popular and we saw several tour groups here. Our group was small and we had a great guide. It wasn’t long until we had our first sighting. There was a Sloth up in a tree, but it was so high that it was very hard to see. Heading a bit further down the path we were surprised by a Tapir and it’s calf. The calves are called hiders as they are born with stripes and blend into the jungle very well. Tapirs are rare and endangered.

We were treated to a few more sightings – a Peccary and an Agouti. Although peccaries resemble wild pigs, they are not closely related. They are usually in herds of up to 50 but separate into smaller groups to eat. They are quite small and apparently smell like bad cheese. Agoutis are medium sized and are diurnal and therefore easier to spot. They are solitary mammals.

Peccary and Agouti

We saw several Coatis. The females and their offspring travel in large groups of ten to forty. They are omnivorous, very social and sleep in trees.

Coati

It is very difficult to get a good picture of some of these animals as they are hard to spot and are always moving. We enjoyed seeing all the different types of monkeys as well as the interesting trees and plant life. Costa Rica is home to four different types of Monkeys: Spider, Capuchin, Howler and Squirrel.

Spider Monkey

We spotted Woodpeckers and Toucans and I was thrilled to see a Motmot! Notice his very long tail….

Woodpeckers, Toucan and Motmot

We headed over to the Sirena station for a break. There are bunk beds here so you can stay overnight for multi-day tours. Once we had our snack, we headed towards the ocean to explore a different area of the park.

We watched a Heron diving for his dinner and our guide pointed out some whale bones that had washed up on shore.

We explored the next area before heading back into the jungle. It was quite picturesque with the water flowing into the ocean from the river. We saw some more Tapirs that were enjoying a mud bath.

It was now time to head back to Jaguar’s Jungle, where our lunch would be served. On the way out we were treated to a rare occurrence. A sloth was fairly low in the tree as she had just come down to go to the bathroom. About once a week the Sloth will make their way down and use their tail to make a hole to defecate into. One hypothesis is that this is to provide fertilizer for the tree they are living in at the time. There are two kinds of Sloths – Two Toed and Three Toed.

Sloths can be extremely hard to spot as many have algae growing in their fur which makes them quite green. They also lie on their backs when resting in the crook of a tree.

Now it was time to head back down to the rocky beach to catch a ride back to our hotel.

The ride back was fun too – we circled a small rock structure that had many Frigate birds as well as a few Brown Boobies. We also saw the Llorana waterfall and some caves.

Top right – Frigate Birds Middle right – Brown Boobies

After we finished lunch with our tour group, we headed out for another hike. There are a few trails here that you can explore on your own right from the property. Parts of the trail are quite easy and some are more technical. We spotted some Spider Monkeys and could often hear the Howler Monkeys as their cry can carry some distance.

Middle right -Basilisk Bottom right – Leaf Cutter Ants

We passed a biological station. They have camera traps set up around the area to follow some of the mammals that are rarely spotted such as Jaguars, Ocelots and Puma. We also saw many groups of leaf cutter ants and were told to carefully step over them so as not to disrupt their work. We also saw a few Basilisks which are nicknamed Jesus Christ Lizards because they can run on top of the water. Later in our trip we actually saw one do that!

We finished our day with another great meal and a gorgeous sunset!

Fun Fact: Costa Rica only has two seasons: Dry (Summer) and Rainy (Winter). In general, the dry season runs from December to April and the rainy season runs from May to November.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 5

Saturday, February 22

Osa Peninsula

On day five we were picked up by our driver at 8:30 a.m. to take us to the dock in Sierpe. We arranged this through the hotel we stayed at at the end of our vacation – http://tulemar.com. I was most excited to head to the Osa Peninsula and Corcovado Park which was named by National Geographic as “one of the most biologically diverse places in the world”. I was looking forward to seeing all the animals that we don’t have here: tapirs, coatis, monkeys, and most of all, sloths!

We were pleased to see our first driver again who was right on time and got us to the ferry dock at the time that we requested. We enjoyed taking in the sights as we drove further south.

We needed to take a boat to our next destination as there are no roads. There is a trail parallel to the ocean from Drake Bay but it is a four hour hike and we had too many bags! To take the ferry someone has to merely show up and tell them which lodge they are going to. There is one stop in Drake Bay, and then stops as requested at other lodges with ours being the last stop. While we were waiting Mike found hat number two – one with flaps to cover his ears and neck. It wasn’t really his style as it was made of camo print but it was more practical than the straw hat. I also picked up a diet coke for the ride.

Ferry dock in Sierpe

The boat ride to our next location would be a tour in itself. The first hour is through a mangrove forest before it exits into the ocean. The driver stopped a few times to show us some wildlife – some monkeys and an owl on it’s favourite perch.

We put our backpacks and suitcases in garbage bags to keep them dry just in case it rained and because we would be doing a wet landing. Shortly after getting out into the ocean we made our first stop at Drake Bay. The boat was backed into the beach and most of the people got off there.

We continued our journey by boat for another half hour or so. The scenery along the way was stunning, especially as we were pulling in to our destination, Jaguar’s Jungle! http://jungladeljaguar.com

Jaguars’ Jungle

We arrived around lunch time and were greeted at the beach by the manager, Brian. He took us up to our cabin where we spent the next five nights. We had booked the most expensive one (it was only about $100 a night) and were very pleased that we did, as the one next door had a separate building for it’s bathroom. When we entered the room they were just finishing installing a ceiling fan above the bed. Great timing! We also found out just a few weeks before arriving that they now accepted credit cards so we didn’t have to bring a pile of cash with us. They had also added some more solar panels, so our power lasted all night for three of the nights that we were there. I had booked this room almost a year earlier, so these changes were a nice surprise. Our room was great – lots of room and a huge bathroom. We had a queen bed and two twin beds which we used as storage for all our gear. This property has 3 cabins as well as some hostel rooms.

After doing a bit of unpacking, we went and had some lunch. The food was great and we loved sitting on this bench looking out over the ocean while we ate.

Once full, we headed out to explore the property ….

…followed by a hike a bit further away to explore some of the nearby shoreline.

The sun goes down quite early here as it is near the equator. We had dinner around 6 p.m. and enjoyed watching the sunset.

Fun Fact: Costa Rica’s currency is the Colone. This translates to Columbus, as in Christoper. They come in different colours.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 4

Friday, February 21

Every morning we had breakfast at our hotel. It was included in our nightly rate. We really enjoyed all the fresh fruit that came with our meal. There were several choices on the menu and we tried most of them. Huevos rancheros was a favourite.

Today would be our second tour with http://pineapplekayaktours.com! We were thrilled to have Jovino as our guide again today!

Mike and Jovino

We took a cab into Dominical and then our group got into one of two vans and drove down to the mangrove forest. We stopped a couple of times to see some sloths. We also saw some adorable baby raccoons just before we started down the river.

Mike and I were the only two paddleboarding. Everyone else was kayaking. The small rivers here were very picturesque and peaceful…..except when one of the kayakers accidentally crashed into me and knocked me off my paddleboard into the river!

Jovino pointed out some of the more hidden wildlife. We saw a snake stretched out on a branch, a few birds and some very angry Capuchin monkeys.

Grey Hawk

Grey Hawk

After a relaxing paddle we had a short break to refresh ourselves in the water.

Next we followed the river out to the ocean…..

This was one of my favourite places. We had some time to relax and wander around. The sand actually has some dirt mixed in, so when you stand in the wet areas you will sometimes sink in right up to your ankles. It was very shallow so we could walk quite far into the river.

After some time exploring this area, we paddled back to our starting point and had a nice snack of fresh local fruit. The pineapple here was amazing – juicy and full of flavour.

We shared our leftovers with the monkeys.

This was our final night at Tiki Villas. We really enjoyed our stay here. The next morning we left for our second destination – The Osa peninsula.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 1 to 3

Tuesday, February 18

Mike and I decided to go to Costa Rica last April. It had been quite a while since we had gone on a vacation, other than Disney World. Before deciding on an itinerary, I did hours of research. I devoured a couple of tour guides and learned as much as I could about the country and it’s geography. I then spent hours researching hotels and tours on http://tripadvisor.com. It sounded like the perfect place for me – lots of wildlife, hiking and other activities, nice beaches and lots of unique places to stay. I was also very happy with their rules against smoking which is not permitted on any hotel property, at beaches or in public parks.

Costa Rica: The Complete Guide by James Kaiser, The Wildlife of Costa Rica: A Field Guide

It sounded a bit difficult to find your way around the country as most places don’t have proper addresses. A certain hotel may be described as being 200 metres past the gas station. So after receiving an email from www.tulemar.com regarding transportation to their hotel , I decided to find out how much it would cost to have a driver for all the transfers between the places we were staying. Turned out that it was not much more expensive than renting a car, so we decided to use their service. I gave their concierge our info and she set everything up for us. Turns out that was one of our best decisions! The drivers were always on time, if not a bit early, and it was a fun and stress free way to move between our hotels.

We left home on a Monday evening and flew to Montreal. This way we could be on an early flight with Air Canada to San Jose and would arrive there around lunch time. Everything went very smoothly. We stayed at the airport hotel and enjoyed a nice dinner.

Dinner at the airport Marriott

We arrived on time in San Jose but as I had been warned, it took a long time to get through the airport. We all had to be bused to the terminal and then had to wait for a long time to receive our luggage. While we were waiting I bought a cell phone plan and a sim card . We were advised that this would be the cheapest way to have use of our phones. Once we had our bags, we headed outside. I was quite surprised at the number of cab drivers lined up looking for business. We eventually found our driver holding a sign with our name on it. He promptly got us settled in his air-conditioned van and off we went!

Our driver was great! He was very friendly and chatted with us about his country and his family. It was awesome to be able to look around and take everything in without worrying about where our next turn would be. Getting out of the city was a bit complicated but once we were beyond it , it was pretty straight forward. We got out onto the main road and headed south. The trip took about three hours as some areas had a fair amount of traffic. We made a couple of pit stops for restrooms and snacks. Each time we got back in the van I remembered to close the door softly – in Costa Rica slamming the car door is considered aggressive and rude.

Our first four nights were spent at http://tikivillas.com in Ballena. We had a lovely private villa on a hill with a beautiful view of the ocean.

Our villa was spacious and included an outdoor shower. It was very private! The bed wasn’t super comfortable but we had everything we needed. We had air conditioning which was nice as, coming from Canada, we weren’t yet acclimatized to the heat and humidity. We also had a nice balcony to sit on to watch the birds or sit and read.

Toucan

While checking into our room, we also learned that Costa Rica doesn’t have the same septic system as we do in Canada. We were told that we could not put toilet paper in the toilet. They had a bucket beside the toilet for non-human waste. Remembering could sometimes be a bit of a challenge!

We unpacked as we would be here for three nights, and then headed down to the infinity pool to cool off and relax. The staff were very friendly and all the meals were very good. Most of the 9 villas were filled due to a Yoga festival that was taking place in Uvita. Even so, it was never crowded. It was a great place to start our adventure!

Fun Fact: Costa Rica abolished it’s army in 1949.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 2

Wednesday, February 19

Our first full day in Costa Rica was free for us to explore. After breakfast we walked down the small trail from the hotel to the beach while enjoying all the tropical trees and plants. It was a bit more challenging than we expected. The path was narrow and not well used as it could only be accessed from our hotel. The route required crossing some water which seemed very common here when heading to the beach.

Once at the beach, we turned right and explored some rocky areas and did a bit of boulder hopping. When we were done , we walked down the beach in the other direction. The beach became more rocky and it was really humid so we decided to head back to the hotel. This required a walk up a very steep hill. It was a bit of a grind so we were really looking forward to getting in the infinity pool and having a cold drink.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing and sitting in the infinity pool. I also enjoyed a nice tropical cocktail!

We had most of our meals at the open air restaurant at the hotel and we really enjoyed them. One of the waiters took the time to show us some vampire bats that were living nearby in a bush. Very cool! This was an example of the excellent service we received.

There are almost 900 different kinds of birds living in Costa Rica. In the evenings we enjoyed watching the Toucans, one of the more common tropical birds found here. We also saw many Turkey Vultures circling the area.

Fun fact: Costa Rica, translated to Rich Coast, was named by Spanish explorers who thought the region was filled with gold.

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